Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Further arrests as Hampshire raids continue

Rownhams Services westbound petrol station Image copyright Google
Image caption Rownhams Services is among the places where robberies have happened

Three more people have been arrested by police investigating a series of 18 raids on businesses in 16 days.

The robberies began on 19 November in Eastleigh, Hampshire. In the latest incident a man stole money from a Southampton off-licence at 11:00 GMT.

Eight people have been assaulted during the attacks by robbers armed with knives, hammers, poles or planks of wood, police said.

Two men, aged 22 and 38, and a 26-year-old woman have been arrested.

Police said the 22-year-old had been arrested on suspicion of robbery, while the 38-year-old had been held on suspicion of conspiracy to rob.

The woman was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

All three are from Southampton.

Police said there had been two further raids - at Best One in Lodge Road at 10:00 and Cloud Wine in Bedford Place at 11:00.

On Tuesday last week, four businesses were raided in one day - Bone Burger and Bysea Cafe in Portsmouth Road, Glitz Hair Salon in Janson Road and Co-Op in Shakespeare Road, Eastleigh.

In raids on Thursday, three staff members and a customer were assaulted at Rownhams Services on the M27, Bitter Virtue off-licence in Cambridge Road, Threshers on Thornhill Park Road and Thompsons newsagents on Rownhams Road.

The assault victims have included shop assistants, a taxi driver and a motorway service station customer.

Earlier, Dean Higham, 54, of Anson Drive in Southampton, appeared before magistrates in the city charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to commit burglary, possession of a Class A drug and driving while unfit through drugs.

He was remanded in custody to appear before Southampton Crown Court on 5 January.

Previously an 18-year-old London man, who was arrested in connection with the robberies, was released while inquiries continue.

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